Jury selection begins for husband accused of murder

EL CAJON (CNS) – Jury selection is scheduled to begin Wednesday in the
murder trial of an Iraqi man accused of fatally beating his wife in their El
Cajon home after she asked for a divorce.

Opening statements in the trial of Kassim Alhimidi are expected next week.

Alhimidi, 49, was arrested on Nov. 8, 2012, by El Cajon police in what
was first thought to be a hate crime. His wife, 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi, was
found mortally injured with at least six head wounds in their Skyview Street
residence on March 21, 2012.

First-responders found a note in the home that read, “This is my
country, go back to yours, terrorist.”

The couple's 18-year-old daughter, Fatima, testified during a
preliminary hearing last year that a similar threatening note was found in the
family's home on March 13, 2012, eight days before her mother was attacked.

The daughter testified that her parents started having problems in
August 2011. She said her mother – a homemaker – wanted to divorce her father
and move to Texas, where her family lived.

The young woman said her father laughed at her mother when she showed
him court papers needed to file for a divorce. She testified that her mother
would get angry when her father wouldn't listen to her pleas for a divorce.

The witness said she was home on March 21, 2012, when she heard what she
thought was a short “squeal” from her mother. She said she stayed in bed
but eventually went to the kitchen to get something to eat, and saw her injured
mother on the kitchen floor and called 911.

The mother of five died of head injuries in a hospital three days later.

Kassim Alhimidi told police he took his four younger children to school
about 7:30 a.m. the day of the attack, came home, then went for a drive around
9:30 a.m.

Fatima testified that it would be unusual for her father to go for a
random drive because he was constantly complaining about the price of gas.

Categories: KUSI